Hong Kong rolls out tap-to-collect travel rebate system

Hong Kong transport subsidy scheme launches with minor hiccups for tap-and-go Octopus card top-ups at stores — South China Morning Post — “Under the Public Transport Fare Subsidy Scheme, commuters with monthly travel expenses exceeding HK$400 (US$51) received subsidies of 25% of the difference between their total cost and this sum, capped at HK$300… Commuters can collect the subsidy for the previous month via the Octopus App or at more than 1,800 collection points around the city… For those who pocket the subsidy at convenience stores, they will also be given a HK$10 coupon for purchases in the same shop.”


Octopus lets Hong Kong commuters use NFC to link their transit card to their mobile phone

Octopus App enhanced with more customer-centric mobile services — Octopus — “Octopus users with compatible Android NFC devices can simply enter their Octopus number into the Octopus app and tap their Octopus onto the back of their mobile phones. Users with iOS devices (or Android devices without NFC) can enter the Octopus number into the Octopus app, then visit any of the 50 Octopus service points that are conveniently located all over Hong Kong to tap their Octopus within seven days to complete the registration and verification process.”



Hong Kong links QR codes to faster payments to boost mobile wallet adoption

The launch of Faster Payment System (FPS) — Hong Kong Monetary Authority — “The FPS is a unique platform as it supports instant payments in the HKD and the RMB with the use of mobile phone numbers, email addresses or QR codes… A free mobile application tool, namely ‘Hong Kong Common QR Code’ (HKQR), is released today, which can be used for converting multiple QR codes from different payment service providers into a single, combined QR code. This would facilitate merchants, especially small and medium enterprises, in using a single QR code to accept different payment schemes, instead of displaying multiple QR codes to their customers.”


UnionPay rolls out its mobile payments app to cardholders in Hong Kong and Macau

UnionPay International launches the UnionPay app in Hong Kong and Macau to enhance the local customers’ mobile payment experience — UnionPay International — “From today, consumers in Hong Kong and Macau can bind their locally issued UnionPay cards to the UnionPay app and enjoy mobile payment service both in and outside Hong Kong and Macau… So far, UnionPay is accepted at almost all ATMs and POS terminals in Hong Kong and Macau, and a total of about 19m UnionPay cards are issued in Hong Kong and Macau.”


UnionPay promotes mobile payments adoption with discounts at merchants around the world

UnionPay International launches its biggest-scale summer marketing campaign — UnionPay — “Merchants in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Russia, Australia and other countries and regions are providing discounts for UnionPay mobile QuickPass. For instance, customers can purchase Aeroexpress ticket in Moscow for only one ruble. Secondly, customers can download u-plan e-coupons that can be used at about 6,000 merchant locations in 17 countries and regions via the app to enjoy the best discount in-store. Thirdly, the app users can check about merchant offers, card-using tips, tax refund guides and other practical information.”


Hong Kong metro to add QR codes to turnstiles

Hong Kong to implement QR codes on MTR station, calls for application — e27 — “Under the new system, passengers will be required to pre-generate a QR-based transit code to enter or exit paid areas of the MTR stations, where they will be required to present the QR code. Information collected from the code will be used for journey construction and fare calculation based on travel-first-and-pay-afterwards mechanism.”


Hong Kong to be global battlefront for mobile payments?

A payments battle is brewing in Hong Kong — Bloomberg — “Alipay’s azure blue logos began appearing two years ago in Hong Kong’s airport, greeting travelers from China who rely on the popular payments app back home. In recent months, taxis got them. Now stores and boutiques have them. They’re all signs of a battle brewing in Hong Kong that will test whether a Western-style financial system — based on banks, credit and debit cards — can fend off a pair of apps that have come to dominate how people spend and send money throughout China. If Ant Financial’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat Pay can expand into the city and win new customers there, why not in Europe and the US, too?”


Octopus lets Hong Kong merchants accept NFC payments on their mobile phones

Octopus App for Business now enables all Octopus users to pay on merchant mobile devices — Octopus Cards — “Octopus Cards Limited today launched a new feature to enhance the Octopus App for Business, allowing merchants to accept Octopus card payment through their NFC mobile devices. Users of all Octopus cards and products (including Smart Octopus in Samsung Pay) can simply tap on the merchants’ NFC mobile devices — which can now serve as Octopus readers for easy payments.”


Apple’s Gymkit with NFC begins to gain traction

GymKit continues global expansion with new announcement from Life Fitness — 9to5Mac — “Earlier today, Technogym announced that it has deployed some 5,000 GymKit-enabled cardio machines since November. Following that announcement, Life Fitness announced this evening that it is expanding its rollout of GymKit equipment around the world… Life Fitness says that its Fitness IFC location in Hong Kong and Anytime Fitness Japan’s Ebisu location in Tokyo will be the first locations to add the new machinery, with other locations following as time progresses.”


UnionPay sets out its mobile payments rollout plans

UnionPay International launches mobile payment service platform to accelerate rolling out of its mobile payment worldwide — UnionPay — “UnionPay International will introduce Huawei Pay to the global markets this year, and Russia is expected to be the first country outside mainland China where Huawei Pay will be launched. In addition, UnionPay QR code payment will be available in Tajikistan, Japan, Cambodia and Suriname this year… UnionPay International is working with major institutions in Hong Kong, Kenya, and Nepal in jointly developing the international version of the UnionPay app.”


Hong Kong banks to offer QR payments to 18m debit card holders

Jetco Pay adds new merchant payment service supported by eight banks — Jetco — “Jetco today announced the launch of Jetco Pay Merchant Payment service jointly with eight banks, including Bank of Communications (Hong Kong), Bank of East Asia, Chong Hing Bank, Dah Sing Bank, ICBC (Asia), OCBC Wing Hang Bank, Shanghai Commercial Bank and Wing Lung Bank. The service allows consumers to make in-store QR code payment easily, while in-app or online payments can be completed quickly and securely by inputting only their mobile phone number. The fact that the service is linked to the bank account also means that consumers do not have to worry about topping up.”


Hong Kong bank adds finger vein biometrics to ATMs

Hong Kong lender banking on finger veins being better than faces for ATM security — South China Morning Post — “Bosses at Bank of China Hong Kong said on Tuesday they expected to bring finger vein identification to all of the company’s ATMs across the city, claiming the feature to be more secure than facial recognition. The bank – the first to use the new technology in the city – had already extended it to a third of its cash machines by last month.”


Tencent opens up WeChat Pay to overseas credit card holders

WeChat Pay now allows users to bind overseas credit cards — Technode — “Expats living in China and residents of Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan — places where WeChat is ambitiously expanding its user base — can now bind and activate WeChat Pay accounts with credit card services provided by MasterCard, Visa, and JCB… This is the first time users are able to use WeChat Pay without having a Chinese bank account or credit card.”


Samsung integrates Hong Kong’s Octopus card into Samsung Pay

Samsung teams up with Octopus to launch exclusively the first “Smart Octopus” in Samsung Pay — Octopus Holdings — “Smart Octopus in Samsung Pay will enable NFC payment at all Octopus acceptance points, covering public transport as well as over 21,000 retail outlets, online shopping, recreational facilities, vending machines, self-service kiosks; plus the use of parking and access control facilities at residential or commercial premises.”


Alipay pushes into Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the Philippines with Christmas shopping festival

Alipay to hold online 24-hour Christmas shopping festival as part of expansion push — South China Morning Post — “The event will take place in Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the Philippines with Alipay partners in each location: Hutchison in Hong Kong, Paytm in India, Truemoney in Thailand and GCash in the Philippines… As part of the December event, the AlipayHK joint venture has partnered with more than 8,000 bricks-and-mortar stores to offer exclusive gifts, discounts and rewards.”


Octopus adds QR payments for taxi rides in Hong Kong

Hong Kong e-payment operator Octopus launches QR code service, aiming to get city’s 40,000 taxi drivers off cash — South China Morning Post — “Hong Kong cashless payment operator Octopus has launched a QR code service aimed at small merchants and the city’s 40,000 taxi drivers, who have long been reluctant to accept anything but cash. The new payment method, which only requires a smartphone on each side of the transaction, eliminates the need for merchants to install Octopus card readers, which at certain locations are bound by technical limitations.”


Hong Kong transit operator to test WeChat Pay and Alipay

Contactless competition: WeChat Pay is coming to Hong Kong’s MTR, and Alipay may not be far behind — South China Morning Post — “Commuters on Hong Kong’s MTR will soon be given a new quick payment option as the railway operator has partnered with the mainland’s second-largest mobile payment provider WeChat Pay, it announced on Thursday. WeChat Pay’s main rival, Alipay, said it would follow suit in the ‘near future’… While the initiative arguably benefits mainland tourists more than Hongkongers, it breaks a 20-year stronghold by the contactless Octopus card on how train fares can be paid for.”


See NFC World's full list of trials, pilots, tests and live services around the world...